Is TSS still just TSS?

Long story short, I am doing MV SSB2 and I am starting to get antsy being inside all the time. So I want to go for an outside ride but I do no want to ruin my training. My question is for my Saturday ride the training plan has me doing Hunter, which is a 2hr ride with a TSS of 121. Can I do an outside ride matching the TSS of 121 and be ok?

If you are going outside. Look to do the workout outside… ie the 3x 20mins SS w/ 15min recs

I go out to ride and have fun. Workout be damned. My weekend rides turn out to be about 300TSS hammerfests. Too many rabbits.


The problem is there are many rolling hills and cross streets where i have to slow down, so it would be impossible for me to hold watts for 20 min stretches.

1 Like

It’s a long winter just go ride get the volume.

Riding season for me starts now, I live in Florida so winter is when I ride most.

Well same I live in Texas. So doing intervals non stop is how I burn out. So long group rides on the weekend are a great way to raise ctl and not burn out. My two cents.

1 Like

In the workout tips it typically gives a substitution workout at a lower IF for the weekend rides. I believe for Hunter it recommends Boarstone if that gives you a basis for your outdoor ride

1 Like

Not all TSS is the same, and structured training plans are not rigid. There’s no need to overthink it. You have a target of a time in zone, you can overshoot that, and then Reduce the next few workouts. or you can suck it up and bump ctl.

You won’t really ruin your training. There are probably threads about racing while in a block. They may be B or C events, so just treat it as such…

Your target is time in zone. How you get there is not that big a deal, and it’s fluid. the secondary goal is spending a longer time in zone to build endurance, but if you’re going stir crazy, just ride it and see what it looks like later and adjust your plan accordingly. You can sprint a bit, you can go vo2, etc, it’s better to have a good state of mind with motivation than to look at it as something you must do and it must be done this way. If I hired a coach and he said you have to do this and only this, with no room for change…he’s fired.

You have 60 minutes of sweet spot and hold it. You can also shuffle your schedule and move workouts around. Extend some, reduce others.

Look at Hunter +1 or hunter +2.or hunter -1 , the chimneys +3, stromlos +7, etc. search the workouts and find something that is similar to what you think you will do.

Or split hunter and do it mid week, and double up bluebell if you have the fitness or mills.

Another option is to find a mix of hills and flat and time trial the heck out of it,

And ride the hell out of those hills.

1 Like

If you’re getting ansy then forget the training plan and just go for a ride, enjoy the break from structure. It’ll scratch the itch and break up the structure nicely, then you can jump straight back to the plan no harm done.

1 Like

I’ve been doing SSBMV I all inside and have been adding in Bays or some other 1-1:15h workout to add volume and stress. But I’ve sold both my MTB’s and I’m waiting for a new next week and my racing one in December. So I’m feeling your antsy-temper. It’s pretty destructive mentally to do all workouts indoors. if you live in Florida I’d say get the hell out and ride at least during Sundays endurance-ride. No need to do 5-6 structured rides/week. Last year I did a 3-5hr LSD ride every Sunday and still saw great improvements.

Totally this. TSS looks at the volume of stress that has been accumulated…but not how that stress is applied. So two workouts of the same length can receive the same TSS but be completely different workouts. Long SS efforts could equal the same as short sprint efforts.

As mentioned above, in SSB a good outdoors ride will not harm your plan. Just go outside, ride some tempo, hit some hills and enjoy. Just make sure you don’t smash yourself so you can’t complete the next set of workouts!

For 20 minute sweet spot intervals, a few stop lights or being cautious at cross streets are not going to mess up the workout. Sweet spot is high enough wattage that you can hold target up and down rolling hills.

Go ride. When you are pedaling, maintain the target range. After about 20 minutes take a break for about 15 minutes and back off. Repeat 3 times. There, you’ve done Hunter outside.

Not all TSS is equal. That being said, if skipping these weekend rides outdoors makes you really dislike training and feel like it’s becoming forced, by all means go ride outside. At the end of the day, while you are training to get more fit to have better races, if you aren’t enjoying riding your bike then who cares if you’re fit? Of course being able to hit your plan 100% is nice but you should also consider the mental health and enjoyment aspect of just enjoying being on the bike, even if it means sacrificing a workout or two.


Thanks for all the reply’s everyone. I do not race but started trainer road because like everyone else I want to get faster and fitter. My main question was I guess, is all TSS created equily, and I guess not. So I am just going to start riding outside once a week and try to emulate the workout the best I can. I don’t hate the indoor trainer, I get through the workouts ok I guess, but its been 8 weeks of it and I need to get out a little.

They actually address this in the info for each week. For instance this is the info for week one of SSB MVII:

The week then closes out with a pair of straightforward muscle endurance workouts, starting with some Threshold repeats and ending with some Sweet Spot repeats. You’re welcome to substitute a longer aerobic endurance ride for those Sweet Spot intervals–try Boarstone in place of your Sunday repeats.

So go for it. Take a ride outside. Don’t mind too much about hitting the TSS goals, if you overshoot a lot you’ll feel it during the Tuesday workout. If you have to reduce intensity by 5 %, then so be it. It’s not ment to be completely rigid.

1 Like